Sometimes, in the course of your life, you cross paths with people who amplify your sound, literal and figurative. They dovetail into your mission so solidly that it seems like it was laid out in a plan for you to connect. That’s how Shekyra DeCree felt when she connected with Lisa Griffin and Rina Reid Dunkin. The three women were attending a fitness class together and became fast friends, leading each other to push themselves. The lightning bolt moment came one day when Griffin looked at DeCree and launched a little spark that would soon catch fire.
“What we are doing is so much bigger than us,” she said. “We need to be empowering women everywhere.” Decree remembers that moment like it was yesterday. “We had no clue how we were going to do it; we just knew we needed to move. This happened to be during the #metoo movement, when women began speaking out and using their voices and living their truth. We wanted to connect to that energy—that climate. That’s what continues to motivate us almost a year later. We still recognize this is so much bigger than us.”
The three women have now teamed up and combined their powers to launch a revolution, tiny but mighty, in the form of pop-up fitness classes built around their shared mission and combined talents. Decree, a licensed professional clinical counselor and mental health therapist; Dunkin, a software development specialist; and Griffin, a nurse, all feel a larger force propelling them to build community within their classes.
Divine Impact Fitness focuses on not only the outer, but the inner. They collaborate with local businesses, do community outreach, focus on women’s wellness and empowerment, and of course, lead bangin’ fitness classes. DIF offers cardio dance fitness experiences and strength training classes throughout the week. But they pride themselves on setting their classes apart from other popups.
“Our environment is infectious,” Decree said. “The yelling, screaming, dancing, acting a fool in the name of fitness, empowerment, and freedom is phenomenal. You can feel the energy from the parking lot; you cannot help but to move when you’re in our classes. Our environment inspires such liberty and freedom. The members and participants cheer on and encourage one another. You see hugs, high fives, and hear ‘You go girl!’ all the time. At the end of every class, the members are instructed to turn to their neighbor and remind one another of how beautiful, valued, and loved they are, and that they are ‘enough’ as they are.”
Elevating each other is more than just lip service. Classes are often led by members, ranging from 10 to 63 years old. They choreograph routines, and lead their fellow classmates to the beat of Jay-Z and Ariana Grande.
“Everyone shines, not just the instructors; everyone’s a star in our sky. A 14-year old young woman even choreographed one of our most popular routines. It really is something beautiful.”
DIF has no brick-and-mortar as of yet, so they host pop-up classes in existing businesses. Their high-impact classes can be modified to accommodate all fitness levels. Strength training and conditioning classes assist with total body toning, and they even have “Heels” classes, which is a more sultry, sexy side of fitness. They are flexible, mobile, and offer al la carte classes.
“We’ve led family reunions, we do bridal boot camps, bachelorette parties, you name it. Bottom line, we act a fool and have a lot of fun.”
They promote other businesses by offering vendor space and exposure to local makers, movers, and shakers. DIF holds “Vision Board” events to cultivate confidence and inspiration, while supporting one another. They recently partnered with Franklin County Children Services for a fitness initiative.
“Considering the climate in our country, we’d be remiss not to support organizations who aim to protect children and families. We are currently working on developing partnerships with Center for Healthy Families and Amethyst Inc. We hope to be Central Ohio’s leader in promoting Women’s Health and Wellness. We also offer mental health support by promoting Mindfulness, and mental health and wellness education.”
The cornerstone of DIF is women working together to make a better world for women.
“We want to remedy the ugly senseless stigma of women competing with each other instead of completing each other. We need each other, and are stronger together. We aim to celebrate our differences, hence our slogan “DIFference is Power.
“We want the women we serve to discover their super power every time they are with us, and with each other. That’s our vision. That’s what we believe makes us DIFferent.”
For more, visit divineimpactfit.com, or find them on Facebook.
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